Excellent time this past Fri with engaging dialogue between Jenny, Michael, Dale, and others. We spoke of politics, climate change, unfinished projects, and other disasters.
60s Rock 25 June, 2012
Fri–Sat, June 22–23: Long live the longest party! To commemorate the year’s shortest nights, we threw the lengthiest celebration. Our 60s Marathon covered the entire decade of hit music—everything from pop, folk, instrumental, soul, garage, country crossover, novelty, and straight-ahead rock ’n’ roll. The Green Man itself was rearranged to form an intimate dance floor for the first episode the first evening. We then migrated across the street to the Kent Kompound’s spacious deck for more twirling, sliding, boogaloo, shing-a-ling, pony, monkey, and Watusi movin’ grooves.
Friday began with singles played in reverse chronological order, then 1960 through ‘62. Saturday’s installment covered songs from 1963 through the end in ‘69. During the event, participants feasted on smoked brisket, sausage, and snacks while guzzling beer, wine, and fizzy water and scrawling graffiti beneath the iconic black lights. Throughout the ordeal, we played “name it and win it” for each number: celebrants had until the end of the tune to name the artist and title plus a relevant factoid. As an obscure example, who’s this? For those born after 1970, the bash doubled as a symposium on the evolution of the genre.
Thanks are in order to the Kents (Carol, Liz, Zach, Genevieve, and Jay), who opened their private park facility and to all others—human and canine—who made the scene, contributing food, beverage, artistic talent, and (loco)motion.
Barnard’s Ballads 26 March, 2012
Frigga’s Day, March 23: Spring’s here, and there’s no better time for a concert under the trees. In our case, they’re ashes and pecans plus lots of understory plants to fill in the spaces between. Sonically, our ears were filled this past weekend with the tunes, lyrics, and rhythms that Dale Barnard brought to the Backyard Theater.
I’ve know Dale for at least a decade. He’s been a faithful and active member of our Austin Ishmael Dialogue, and he and spouse Denise are long-time denizens of Camp Patchouli at Kerrville. This night also honored Denise on her birthday.
Among other subjects, Dale’s ditties relate his concern for the planet and our culture’s role in its care. Because he’s also a writer, his chooses his words carefully and thoughtfully. His other passion is spelunking, so much of the repertoire deals with crawling in holes underground.
In fact, about half the audience were cavers, most new to the Green Man. Special guests included Dale’s mom, Carol (to whom he dedicated a song), and Denise’s mother, Jo. Our growing family of revelers added a three-month-old child, as well. Friends, neighbors, and country folk all joined in their appreciation. It may have been the best-attended event we’ve done so far.
Too, the pot-luck feast was particularly sumptuous: carrot cake with candles, multilayered cheesecake, garden-fresh greens, wine and Shiner beer, chips, and fancy dips. No one left hungry.
Stay tuned for more . . .
The KyMelia Show 4 November, 2011
Friday, October 21: In perhaps the most professional program from the Backyard Theater to date, Amelia Card and Ky Hote filled the evening air with pleasing singer-songwritten tunes and lyrics. Ms. Card, offspring of Dallas’s famed folk venue Poor David’s Pub, delivered the first set of songs solo. Her bright style and cute ditties transported us to fun places and heightened emotions. Ky followed soon after with some of his own engaging tales accompanied by his virtuosic picking and barring. Near the close of Ky’s first grouping, he was joined by Jim Carpetas on pennywhistle.
After the break, Amelia and Ky played together. Some were Ky’s originals, and others Amelia’s. We heard not just the two guitars, percussion, and voices in various combinations, but Ky also pulled out Amelia’s banjo for one number. Overhead planes flying and neighborhood dogs barking only added the the local flavor.
Other musician friends were in attendance, as well, and a couple guys from Holler and Bang erupted into a spontaneous performance. This happens frequently at the Green Man and everywhere else in this fabled city when creative folks get together.
Cat-ching Up 27 October, 2011
A thousand pardons for the long lapse in reporting! This post summarizes GM weekends from September 16 through October 14.
9-16 Responding to a huge party in Zilker Park, we did our own ACL, but it stood for All Cats Loved. That naturally followed the dog theme back in August, and shows how much we admire all our furry friends. See the song list here.
9-23 For the Fall Equinox, which begins the Season of Earth, we heard lyrics about land, dirt, sand, and other terrestrial subjects. Song list
9-30 sounded like a time of day, but was also that of Saint Sophia, the co-opted Goddess of Wisdom. Mozart supplied the intellectual sonic background. We held several brainy conversations and ate smart food. What else could you expect?
10-14 I doubt if anyone else in Texas or the US for that matter noticed this 945th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. We spoke with French and English accents, sipped French wine and English ale, and enjoyed all manner of cheeses and hors d’uvres. Our singing friends Los Dos regaled us with several belligerent songs.
Soon to come: more Backyard Theater concerts!
Fine Wining 15 September, 2011
Friday, September 9: After another enlightening adwineture at the Kerrville Wine and Music Fest, we brought home our new-found regional favorites and knowledge to the Green Man. One of our most interesting bottles was La Cuvée du Saule from Calais in Dallas. Benjamin, the young French vintner who introduced the drink at a seminar last weekend, spoke with an engaging accent about his operation, the wine’s uses over fruit salads, and the traditional methods of its making. This dessert white derives from 100% muscat grapes and reminds us of a port of a different color. Although we sipped its sweetness in summer’s warmth, we think the Cuvée will be worth reprising as soon as the weather turns winter-cold.
Other folks brought reds, whites, and rosés and even a beer or two. As testament to our patrons’ enjoyment, we used most of our ample collection of stemmed wine glasses, almost all of which we’d acquired as souvenirs from many Kerrville tastings.
What songs come to mind when you think of the noble grape? Below is the playlist of wine-worthy tunes we heard that night:
|Johann Strauss, Jr.||Wine, Women and Song|
|Nightcaps||Wine Wine Wine|
|Neil Diamond||Cracklin’ Rosie|
|Weavers||Kisses Sweeter Than Wine|
|Screamin’ Jay Hawkins||Alligator Wine|
|Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood||Summer Wine|
|Elton John||Elderberry Wine|
|Henry Mancini||The Days Of Wine And Roses|
|Nina Simone||Lilac Wine|
|Delbert McClinton||Two More Bottles of Wine|
|Tommy James & The Shondells||Sweet Cherry Wine|
|Deana Carter||Strawberry Wine|
|Don Ho||Tiny Bubbles|
|Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs||Bottle of Wine|
|5th Dimension||Sweet Blindness|
|Joni Mitchell||A Case of You|
|Paul Anka||A Steel Guitar and a Glass of Wine|
|Jerry Jeff Walker||Sangria Wine|
|Tom T Hall||Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine|
|Dean Martin||Little Ol’ Wine Drinker Me|
|Eric Burdon & War||Spill The Wine|
|Neil Diamond||Red, Red Wine|
|Willie Nelson||Yesterday’s Wine|
|Limelighters||Have Some Madeira M’Dear|
|Peter, Paul and Mary||Kisses Sweeter Than Wine|
|Jimmy Buffett||The Wino And I Know|
|George Carlin||Wonderful WINO|
|Laura Nyro||Sweet Blindness|
|Jeff Buckley||Lilac Wine|
Austin 40 31 August, 2011
Friday, August 26: Far out, man! The seventies came back with a fury this past weekend as our friends, neighbors, and colleagues sent up my 40 years in the Capital City. I wore bell-bottoms, tie-dye, patchouli oil, and a headband. We consumed beer, wine, broccoli salad, and a rice dish while grooving to great rock songs of that era. High school alumna Maureen G and myself well-represented the many Corpus folk who now live in Central Texas.
Here is a photo of my first home in Austin. With a capacity of 3,000, Jester dormitory remains the world’s largest nonmilitary housing complex. The facility has its own ZIP code. Some resident students come from towns not even that big. Despite its much-reviled huge scale and presumed bad food, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Jester, staying two years and gaining 20 pounds. My first roommate was Joe Hendricks, a gymnast from New Mexico and a luck-of-the-draw choice. Second was Clark Parrish, whom I had befriended as a freshman.
The Green Man party began around 7:00 with the first guest who heard Lee Michaels’ Do You Know What I Mean. We ended almost three hours later and hadn’t gotten past the summer of ’72 with the tunes’ chronological order. We will either continue the 70s celebration on a near-future Friday, or wait until next August for the 40th anniversary of my second year in Austin. Stay tuned!
Below is a snippet of my hand-lettered song list from the collection sequenced in 1981 on a reel-to-reel recorder: